Big Ag claims that its technologies and methods are necessary to “feed the world.” But is that really what Big Ag does, or is “feeding the world” merely a marketing slogan with little basis in reality? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigated the issue and released a report last month. It found that:
* Less than 1% of US agricultural exports went to the world’s 19 most hungry or undernourished countries.
* 63% of this went to Haiti and Yemen alone.
* 2.3% of the world’s most undernourished countries’ diet comes from exports from the United States.
* More than 50% of the agricultural exports to its top 20 importers were for animal product or meat
* In many countries where malnourishment is a problem, obesity and overweight is a bigger problem. US agricultural exports contribute to this.
* Developmental aid would produce a much bigger positive impact for global malnourishment than would expanding US agricultural markets.
* In sum, given the relative ineffectiveness of Big Ag in resolving the problem of hunger, there is little reason to believe that a no-holds-barred race to sleeker and more sophisticated agricultural technology is going to make an impact on global hunger.
* The United States should assist other countries in learning to feed themselves, not insisting on American agricultural investment as a means of addressing a problem that it won’t address.
Here’s a summary by Civil Eats:
Here’s the full report:
Want to discuss, argue, or just talk about food? Check out our Facebook group at: